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The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton


All Hail West Texas




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The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton is the first song on the album All Hail West Texas.


the best ever death metal band out of Denton
were a couple of guys, who'd been friends since grade school.
one was named Cyrus, and the other was Jeff.
and they practiced twice a week in Jeff's bedroom. 

the best ever death metal band out of Denton
never settled on a name.
but the top three contenders, after weeks of debate,
were Satan's Fingers, and the Killers, and the Hospital Bombers. 

Jeff and Cyrus believed in their hearts they were headed
for stage lights and Learjets, and fortune and fame.
so in script that made prominent use of a pentagram,
they stenciled their drumheads and guitars with their names.

this was how Cyrus got sent to the school 
where they told him he'd never be famous.
and this was why Jeff, 
in the letters he'd write to his friend,
helped develop a plan to get even.
when you punish a person for dreaming his dream,
don't expect him to thank or forgive you.
the best ever death metal band out of Denton
will in time both outpace and outlive you.
hail Satan!
hail Satan tonight!
hail Satan!
hail hail!

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[]

  • "Obviously — or I'd think obviously — the work I used to do in psych hospitals and residential treatment homes is what informs this song. People ask me sometimes if Jeff or Cyrus are based on anybody, and of course the answer's "no," but only because of course they're dozens of guys. I knew a dude in high school whose girlfriend didn't know he'd been locked up until he'd already been gone for half a day: by the time she found out, he was in Utah, not to emerge for, I think, a year or two. To take somebody's adolescence away is to deny that person some of the closest looks at God's face that we ever get on this planet; I try not to hate the parents who, as misguided as confused, take young men and women away from their friends and their lives to send them away. But it's hard. I try not to excuse the destructive things adolescents sometimes do to express their pain, but in my gut, when I write a song in which a couple of teenagers vow to take revenge on the grownups who're fucking up their lives, well, I cast my lot with the teenagers. They may do wrong sometimes, but their hearts aren't rotten yet, and the light is strong within them." -- "My Five Favorite Mountain Goats Characters" -- eMusic article
  • "This is a song about hope in your life. There is a magnificent Mark Eitzel song title, 'It Is Important Throughout Your Life to Proclaim Your Joy.' It is also important to admit, on occasion, to the righteousness of your fury: The justness of your cause in the face of those who would do you wrong, and who would rob you of your youth, and who would ignore what's good and beautiful in you. And I know this is all corny, platitude stuff, but I know people who got sent to places, and it sucked for them. You can't even say how bad it was. Kirk Fitzpatrick, I remember when they sent you away, man. This is for you." -- 2009-02-25 - Swedish American Hall - San Francisco, CA
  • "I never wrote down 'Hail Satan' on the paper I was writing it on, but it just seemed like there was something more to say. You know? ...How do I feel right now? Hail Satan is how I feel right now.... I can tell you what that means in that song. That means all of the things you tell young people they have to feel -- fuck you. Right? All of the things that you tell young people they have to be. All of the ways in which you try to make up for your own failure through the people who you should -- whose dreams you should be guarding and cherishing. Go die with those. Satan can eat you. Right? Satan is the man who will protect them." -- 2009-02-24 - Herbst Theatre - San Francisco, CA
  • "I hold with the Gnostics, who say there are two Satans, and one can't help you, and he's bad, and he's the cause of illness and disease and pain. And the other is he that resists, he that stands against those who would hold you back, and the pain that would keep you from advancing. And that is who we will now worship." -- 2009-06-14 - Zoop II - Farm Sanctuary - Watkins Glen, NY
  • "It is a song, like a lot of my songs, about survival, and about looking into the face of people who do not wish you the type of survival you would like to have, and thinking toward them, 'I wish you well, but I will not allow you to hold me down." -- 2011-03-30 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY


  • Jeff and Cyrus appear in a comic in "The Mighty Thor" series by Matt Fraction.

Live Shows this Song Was Played at[]

Videos of this Song[]